One of my absolute favorite things about travel is the people I get to meet along the way. It’s been able to connect me with a new dear friend, Lara Sosanwo. We connected instantly over similar stories – we both found ourselves completely underwhelmed by the life we were “supposed to be living.” We also used the physical practice of yoga to move us into a place of personal growth, propelling us into a more authentic life.
After a life of trying to live up to expectations, Lara finally was able to strike through all the items on her life’s to-do-list. First the master’s degrees, then her ‘dream job’, the company car, the sweetest boyfriend, a beautiful house to live, with Téo the Frenchie playing in the backyard. She had it all.
With all her goals achieved, it looked like she had created the perfect life for herself. But in reality, she was stressed-out (with two almost-burnout episodes), frustrated and left wondering: “Is this it?” She sold her stuff and bought a one-way ticket to India, where she studied to become a yoga teacher.
Traditionally schooled, Lara combines Indian teachings with modern insights. Your presence is your practice. No need to force yourself into ‘the perfect alignment’, instead be kind to your body, be amazed by its capabilities, and respect its limits. Her hatha classes will make you feel stable, calm and grounded, while her vinyasa class will heat you up.
I am so thrilled to not only share her today in this interview, but we’ve also welcome Lara as the newest guest teacher on The Remote Yogi Tribe. You are going to LOVE her teaching style.
In today’s interview, I encourage you to listen to her story and see where it connects with her own. Have you ever felt burn out? Have you ever re-directed your life unexpectedly?
In the comments below, I’d love to know what about Lara’s story inspires you the most. Let me know!
Yoga to Bring Presence
Lara was caught up in future planning (same here). She used the anxiety to propel her into pushing towards her goals, of creating the life she was “supposed” to want.
As a yoga teacher, she witnesses this is a problem for a lot of her students. People tend to be caught up in the stories of their past. Alternatively, they’re anxious about the future. Sometimes, we are connecting with both at the same time.
Yoga brought presence. It connects us with the exact moments we are living in, right now.
It’s challenging to let the mind wonder when we are on the mat. We can’t focus on much else when we are twisting ourselves into new postures while simultaneously witnessing the breath. It’s a lot, which is a good thing. It gives us grounding and foundation in the present.
Yoga is an Individual Practice
The biggest thing Lara wants to teach her yoga students is that it’s truly your own practice. Yoga is never “one size fits all.” This seems obvious, right? But we see the attitude of “this is the only way to do yoga” played out time and time again within the community.
Yoga is 100% your own.
You have permission to take whatever is valuable to your body and your mind and work with that.– Lara, Her Backpack Bliss
Not all students and all teachers will fit together. There’s variety for a reason. As teachers, we often hear that someone “tried yoga once and hated it,” which crushes us. With all the different styles and kinds of teachers, there is really something for everyone nowadays.
Remember, the “perfect pose” is bullshit. I’m sorry Instagram, but the right pose is one that feels good, not ones that just photograph beautifully. Don’t worry so much about getting the alignment done perfectly in each posture.
As long as you’re safe, do your thing
Just like we do in life, goal setting can become an addictive pattern on the yoga mat. We are always striving to get to that next cool pose, rather than enjoy where we are each day. Lara encourages us to find gratitude in our practice everyday and keep the goal remaining present on our mats.
Becoming a Guest Teacher
When I asked Lara about joining the Tribe as a guest teacher, she seemed enthusiastic about the idea. It immediately peaked my interest into what about my community had her so eager to hop on board.
Having a similar style, Lara was pleased to see the down to earth style of teaching presented by myself and fellow tribe members. We go out of our way to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable, regardless of their yoga level. This is crazy important to us here.
Lara also chatted about the importance of creating a consistent community. Of course, when traveling, it is hard to maintain a friendship or accountability group with you on-the-go. However, even our members who are stationed somewhere in the world, it can be hard to find a safe community. The Tribe really strives itself on creating an environment that is supportive and lifting people up.
To know more about the Tribe, click here 🙂
Connect with Lara
In addition to being a yoga teacher, Lara is a traveling content writer and Instagram marketing expert. Her motto? From is this IT, to finding Bliss! Follow her tropical, plant-based and flowing journey to reinvent her life on her blog herbackpackbliss.com or follow @herbackpackbliss on Instagram.
I cannot say enough good things about this fabulous woman and I’m SO proud to have her on my team. Cheers to a happy future together!
Have you ever experienced a “This is it?” moment? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Now, go hit your mat! Have fun with it and stay present 🙂